Status: 04/12/2023 12:32 p.m
With the takeover of Musk came the clear cut: From the last 8,000 people, only 1,500 people work on Twitter. The controversial tech billionaire stressed that the move was necessary to save the company.
After a series of layoffs under new owner Elon Musk, Twitter only employs around 1,500 people, compared to the previous 8,000. Musk announced the figures in an interview with the British broadcaster BBC.
Shortly after taking over the online service last October for around 44 billion dollars, the tech billionaire had reduced the number of employees by around half in a first step. It was “painful” to lay off so many people, but without radical austerity measures, Twitter only had “four months to live,” Musk said.
Advertisers are coming back
Prior to Musk’s acquisition, Twitter made almost all of its business from advertising revenue, such as when companies paid to have their tweets appear in users’ news feeds. Musk’s purchase was followed by a churn of advertisers who feared a negative environment for their tweets under the controversial entrepreneur. Sales have halved, as Musk admitted at the time. In addition, Twitter must make interest payments on approximately $12 billion in loans for the acquisition.
Musk now explained in the interview that advertisers had returned or were planning to. Twitter recorded an increase in ads again and only had minimal losses, but he did not give any specific figures. Since the company is no longer listed on the stock exchange, it no longer has to publish quarterly reports.
Musk wants to change BBC designation
In addition, Musk relented in the conflict with the British broadcaster about his name on Twitter. “We will change the label to ‘publicly funded’,” the 51-year-old told the BBC. “We try to be accurate.”
The BBC had previously protested the recently changed designation of its Twitter account as a “state-funded” medium. “The BBC is independent and always has been,” the broadcaster said in a statement. “We are funded by the British public through license fees.” A few hours after the interview, the name initially remained unchanged.
Bought Twitter due to impending lawsuit?
After Musk announced the purchase of Twitter in spring 2022, he tried to get out of the deal relatively quickly. As a reason, he cited an allegedly high number of automated bot accounts, which meant that the purchase price he had proposed was no longer justified.
With a purchase price of $44 billion, Musk paid a hefty premium to Twitter’s stock market value at the time. Although Twitter management resisted the takeover attempt, after reaching an agreement with Musk, it was committed to the interests of shareholders and took him to court.
When Musk was asked in the recent BBC interview if he ended up buying Twitter because a judge would have forced him to do it anyway, he replied, “Yes, that’s why.”